Wednesday, 28 February 2018 16:18


SNP MSP and mental health nurse Clare Haughey will today lead a Scottish Parliament debate marking Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The awareness week, which runs from 26th February to 4th March, encourages people to seek help if they notice symptoms of an eating disorder, with the theme ‘Why Wait?’.
Those experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder on average wait almost three years before seeking help.
YouGov found that a third of adults in the UK could not name any signs or symptoms of eating disorders.
Speaking in the debate, Clare Haughey will say:
“The most recent figures for Scotland show that in 2015/2016, a total of 726 people were treated in hospital for an eating disorder which represents a 66% increase for the corresponding figures a decade earlier.
“The rise, however, doesn’t necessarily have to be viewed as a negative nor may it actually indicate a rise in suffering.
“It could instead point to increased awareness on the part of healthcare professionals and improving access to treatment – which as a mental health nurse of over 30 years – is the assertion that I would agree with.
“Whilst many people have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment, many more remain undiagnosed and at risk.
“The risk of not treating any mental illness can be incredibly dangerous – however for eating disorders this is even more true.
“Eating disorders are responsible for more loss of life than any other form of psychological illness, with anorexia nervosa having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
“And even when eating disorders are not fatal, they can still lead to severe long-term physical health consequences, such as organ damage, fertility issues, and can increase the risk of heart problems, and type 2 diabetes.
“The deniability, secrecy, and stigma, associated with eating disorders will stop many seeking help, and prevent others from taking responsibility to help a sufferer.”
Eating Disorder Awareness Week

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